Indianapolis City leaders gave an update on Marion County COVID-19 numbers Thursday.
Marion County students may return to school buildings Jan. 4, 2021, a couple of weeks earlier than announced in November. Indianapolis Public Schools, IPS, do not plan to return until Jan. 19.
Marion County Public Health Department Director Dr. Virginia Caine said additional data shows young people are not driving a spike in cases.
“They still appear to be significantly less than what we are seeing from a community spread standpoint,” Caine said.
Students, teachers and staff will be asked to quarantine for a week before returning after a COVID-19 diagnosis, based on new CDC recommendations. Students will be required to maintain social distancing and wear masks in grade 3 and above.
Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett said schools will be able to reopen with safety measures in place.
“We have a special prioritization on our school kids and their opportunity to attend school in safe ways,” Hogsett said.
He also said it is critical Congress pass more relief funding for cities and states.
“I am left with no other way to describe it than deadly,” Hogsett said.
The number of cases in Marion County tripled in the past month. The county’s positivity rate among all tests is now more than 14 percent, and ER visits, hospitalizations and the number of deaths are also on the rise.
Besides students returning to school buildings in January, all other current restrictions remain in place.